John personally visits every project to verify its legitimacy and to meet and work with local leaders as well as ex-pat staff. In addition to overseeing projects, he ministers the Bible and provides counseling services to missionaries and humanitarian aid workers in many parts of the world.
Aslan began in 1988 when John Ramey made the move from being a full-time pastor to taking on an international project focused on rescuing children from poverty, homelessness, and abuse. Built with a mission to meet the needs of the global poor in, Aslan is the fruit of many difficult journeys that have included surrendered dreams and tremendous hardships.
John talks about how difficult it was to change his life’s trajectory—it wasn’t a decision that came easy to him. It took months and months of soul searching and agonizing indecision. He says that it wasn’t something that he would have chosen for himself and it was God who sent him out from where he was before. “I was a pastor, so I was preaching every week,” John said. “But 1 Timothy chapter two, verse four, took a hold of my life. It says, ‘God desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.’” Martin Luther famously said, ‘The Bible has hands. It takes hold of me.’ And I felt that this particular scripture really took hold of me.
John had just moved to Sacramento and had begun working as a pastor at a large church. This was a position that would be a dream for a young pastor. But John kept thinking about all the churches that already were in Sacramento and all the places that needed a single church. He actually spent hours flipping through a phone book and found there were 400 churches in Sacramento alone in 1988. John said, “And so I thought about all those places in the world where there’s no churches. Not one. And there are thousands of cities larger than Sacramento and a lot of these places don’t have churches. Something deep happened in me.”
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